Michael Weir: Jack Ross has not got a magic wand but he must end habit of leaking late goals

Manager has a priority

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 6:00 am
Kilmarnocks Dario del Fabro shoots past Chris Maxwell to make it 2-2 at the death on Saturday
Kilmarnocks Dario del Fabro shoots past Chris Maxwell to make it 2-2 at the death on Saturday

As disappointing as Saturday’s outcome was to everyone, I think most Hibs fans would happily have taken seven points out of nine from Jack Ross’ first three games, two of which were against teams sitting above us in the Premiership.

Added to the win against St Johnstone when Eddie May was in temporary charge means we are now in the top six, a position which many of us probably didn’t envisage.

Of course there are problems which still remain – we shouldn’t be going 2-0 up in matches and have to settle for a draw for instance – but it’s not as if Ross was going to come in and solve everything overnight.

Sign up to our Hibs football newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The fact there were things needing to be corrected resulted in Paul Heckingbottom losing his job after all and Ross can’t simply wave a magic wand and cure all our ills.

I don’t know what other fans think but I don’t feel safe even when we are two goals up and that’s something that obviously needs to be addressed.

Part of Ross’ remit is to make the changes needed and that takes time. He’s hardly got his feet under the table but I’m sure he’ll already be making up his mind about how he’s going to set about tackling things.

Having said that, I did feel a bit sorry for the players. In the first half against Kilmarnock they looked really comfortable and never looked in any danger. I honestly couldn’t see Killie scoring, Hibs were so far ahead it was incredible.

But that well worn phrase of football being a funny game is spot on, things change very quickly within a match. The warning signs had been there before Alex Bruce pulled one back for them, they’d had a couple of chances which should

have set the alarm bells ringing.

I don’t think Ross could have done any more, he put on attack-minded players to try to get that third goal to kill the game off but unfortunately we were done right at the death - again.

For me that is a concern. We’ve lost too many goals in the last few minutes of matches or when we’ve gone into added-on time. Jason Kerr equalised for St Johnstone with just six seconds left early in the season at Easter Road, Joe Chalmers did it for Ross County and even when we won against St Johnstone and St Mirren we were denied clean sheets by last-gasp goals.

It’s something that needs to be eradicated because it’s costing us a good few points, particularly at home.

Having said that, however, our season is now looking far more promising than it did a few weeks ago. Ross has still to implement his own ideas on how he wants the team to play – and that does take time – while he’ll also be deciding what changes, if any, he’d like to make when the January transfer window opens.